UPDATE: Glennville man sentenced to federal prison for massive fire


STATESBORO, Ga. (DOJ) – Jonathan Shane Culbreth, 21, was sentenced yesterday, May 4, by Chief U. S. District Judge Lisa Godbey Wood to serve 5 years in federal prison for starting a fire last summer that destroyed a historic building in the heart of downtown Glennville.  The fire, which Culbreth began before dawn on June 5, 2016 by igniting a junk pile in a back alley, required more than 13 hours to control.  Firefighters from nearly a dozen agencies in four counties responded to extinguish the blaze.

Culbreth will serve his federal sentence without the possibility of parole.  Following his release from prison, the United States Probation Office will supervise him for three years.  Additionally, Culbreth will be required to make restitution of $892,410 to the businesses affected by his crime.

Acting U. S. Attorney James D. Durham stated, “With one foolish decision, this defendant not only endangered the lives of dozens of firefighters, but he also stole from Glennville a structure nearly as old as the town itself.  This U. S. Attorney’s Office will continue to work with its federal and local partners to bring to justice arsonists and other violent offenders who threaten the safety and security of law-abiding citizens.”

The arson was investigated by the ATF, the Georgia State Fire Marshal’s Office, the Tattnall County Fire Department, the Glennville Police Department, the Tattnall County Sheriff’s Office, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, and the Long County Sheriff’s Office.

Assistant United States Attorney Theodore S. Hertzberg prosecuted the case.  For additional information, please contact the United States Attorney’s Office at (912) 201-2522.


NEWS 3 UPDATE: A federal grand jury has indicted 20-year-old Jonathan Shane Culbreth for the June 5th fire that destroyed businesses in downtown Glennville.  Culbreth faces a minimum of five years in prison, a maximum of 20 years.

Jonathan Culbreth
Jonathan Culbreth




GLENNVILLE, Ga. – Officials with Georgia ATF called a press conference Tuesday to announce the fire that destroyed several Glennville businesses Sunday morning was intentionally set.


Investigators caught images of a white man with a slender build running from the scene just before the fire started.

They are expected to release those images to see if the public can help identify the suspect.

A $10,000 dollar reward is also being offered for information leading to an arrest.

WSAV News 3 will update this article with the pictures as soon as they are released.

Anyone with information is urged to call the Georgia Arson Hotline at 1-800-282-5804.

Glennville Police are assisting the ATF with the investigation.


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